Election Data Shows Increase Voter Turnout and Shifts to Blue Locally

Despite the pandemic, voters made their way to the polls this year.
Despite the pandemic, voters made their way to the polls this year. Lauren Drewes Daniels
According to the latest (votes are still trickling in) data from the Dallas County Elections Department, voter turnout was up 20% this election compared with 2016, and the percentage of registered voters casting ballots increased by 7 percentage points. The extra week of early voting definitely helped to ease Election Day congestion at polling locations, with a 44% drop in Election Day voting compared with 2020 and 87% of Dallas County voters casting ballots either early in-person or by mail.

click to enlarge More Dallas County residents registered and voted this election. - LAUREN DREWES DANIELS
More Dallas County residents registered and voted this election.
Lauren Drewes Daniels

Dallas County saw an increase in the share of votes cast for Democratic candidates. In 2016, 60% of votes went Democrats. Fewer ballots were cast for third-party candidates this election, which combined with a 1 point drop in GOP votes gave the Democrats an almost 5 point boost this year. 

click to enlarge Support for Democrats grew this election year. - LAUREN DREWES DANIELS
Support for Democrats grew this election year.
Lauren Drewes Daniels

Was there a red wave on Election Day? Certainly not. More Republicans cast ballots on Election Day in 2016 than this year. 
click to enlarge No red wave on Election Day in Dallas County. - LAUREN DREWES DANIELS
No red wave on Election Day in Dallas County.
Lauren Drewes Daniels

Our neighbors to the north in Denton County had a phenomenal 40% growth in voter turnout this election versus 2016. They remain a red county, although some might say light pink. Per the Denton County Elections Department, 53% of votes went to the GOP and 45% to Biden/Harris. That’s a significant shift from 2016 when 63% of votes went to the GOP.

Collin County was another interesting county to watch throughout early voting because of a large increase in voter turnout. In 2016, voters cast 366,483 ballots. As of the most recent update, there were 488,905 voters this year, an increase of 33%. 

Clinton/Kaine received 140,624 votes in 2016, whereas Biden/Harris received 227,868, a whopping 62% growth in blue votes. 201,014 voted for Tump in 2016 and 250,194 this year, a 25% increase.

More than 11 million Texans voted in this election, a 23% increase over 2016. In 2016 about 4% of those votes went to third-party candidates, and this year fewer than 1.5% did. Those votes may have shifted to the Democrats this year. The Clinton/Kaine ticket received 43.24% of Texas votes in 2016, while Biden/Harris received 46.27%, a 3.03 point increase. The percentage of Trump votes in Texas increased .08 points.

If these trends persist for the next four years, is Texas "in play?" There are some burgeoning counties, like Collin, Denton and Hays just southwest of Austin that are infusing a blueish-purple to the state's elections map. 
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.